Evan & Elizabeth Davis
Welsh Settlements in Ohio
William Harvey Jones, 'Welsh Settlements in Ohio', (in three parts) The Cambrian, Vol. XXVII, No. 7 (pp. 311-17); No. 8 (pp. 344-50); No. 9 (pp. 395-9) (July-September 1907).
This article is not sufficiently broad in its scope to include the history of every settlement in Ohio wherein the Welsh people may have largely resided and must, therefore, be confined to those communities which were originally settled by Welsh people. Classified in this manner the leading Welsh settlements in Ohio are Paddy's Run, Butler County; Radnor, Delaware County; Welsh Hills, Licking County; of Gallia and Jackson Counties and Gomer, Allen County. Other communities in Ohio were settled by the Welsh people, but these were probably the earliest in the history of the State, and derived their pioneer population from sources almost altogether outside of Ohio.
Clannishness is a marked characteristic of the Welsh people. It is to be observed in their many attempts at establishing colonies or settlements for their people, not necessarily to the exclusion of other races, but for the accommodation of those who spoke the Welsh language. The Welsh colonies under Penn near Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, New York and other places bear witness.
A second characteristic of the Welsh people which has considerable bearing upon their history as American citizens was their love of liberty, particularly religious liberty, freedom of conscience, the right to think.
About the close of the Revolutionary War a very perceptible wave of religious dissension and reform spread throughout Europe, a movement which afterwards disclosed its most terrible aspect in the French Revolution. At that time the freethinkers of Wales came athwart the wishes of the government of Great Britain and were compelled to leave the country. America was the Land of Promise and, consequently, between 1790 and 1820 many Welsh people immigrated to America.(note 1)
In fact the leaders in the reform movement were compelled to flee for their lives and in some cases did not depart soon enough to escape imprisonment.(note 2)
This very religious fervor identified the race at an early date with the movements to convert the Indians and long before the Revolutionary War the Welsh missionary was pushing westward through the forest to preach to the Indian by his own campfire. In his efforts to save the Indian's soul, the good missionary was not unmindful of the beauty and fertility of his lands and hunting rounds, and it was not long until the Welsh colonists were familiar with much of the western country. Perhaps the most distinguished Welsh missionary was David Jones known as "Chaplain Jones," of Great Valley, Pennsylvania, who journeyed through Ohio in 1772 and 1773.(note 3)
Prior to 1800 the Welsh settlement nearest to the Northwest Territory was that of Beulah, in what is now Cambrian County, then a part of Somerset County, in the western part of Pennsylvania, about 80 miles east of Pittsburg. This settlement, together with Ebensburg which grew up beside it, was a source of by far the greater part of immigration of the Welsh people to Ohio prior to 1825, and particularly of Paddy's Run and the Welsh Hills. At that place a distinguished Welsh preacher by the name of Morgan John Rhys had purchased 20,000 acres of land for the purpose of establishing a Welsh colony and had founded a village for his people as early as 1796.
When originally laid out Beulah, gave promise of becoming a populous and prosperous settlement, and up until 1805 events justified the promise, but about that time important economic changes were wrought whereby the Welsh village was cut off from the direct route of travel from Philadelphia westward, and was left without resources and hope, began to decline, and finally was completely abandoned.(note 4)
To this settlement in the fall of 1795 and in the winter of 1796 came the families of the following Welshmen: Thomas Phillips, William Jenkins, Theophilus Rees, Rev. Rees Lloyd, William Griffith, James Nichols, Daniel Griffith, John Jones, David Thomas, Evans James, George Roberts, Thomas W. Jones, John Jenkins, Isaac Griffiths, John Thomas, Rev. Morgan J. Rees, John J. Evans, William Rees, Simon James William Williams (South), Thomas Griffith, John Thomas, John Robert (Penbryn), John Roberts (shoemaker), David Rees, Robert Williams, George Turner, Thomas Griffith (farmer), James Evans, Griffith Rowland, David Edwards, Thomas Lewis and David Davies.(note 5)
This colony formed the nucles of the Welsh settlements in Ohio. By far the greater portion of the Welsh settlers Northwest of the Ohio River prior to 1825, either came directly from this colony or employed it is a temporary stopping-place on their way from Wales.
Our Welsh pioneers did not long remain at Beulah, as indications pointed to a more fertile country further west. The Welsh settler was not satisfied with the hilly and somewhat unfertile regions about Beulah. Besides, about the year 1800 the flood of emigration westward was at its height. The spirit of emigration is contagious and as the Welshman saw the great number of eager, enthusiastic travelers pushing past his very door and heard the many stories of the bounteous lands beyond, he concluded to go forward also. By the year 1825 Beulah was practically abandoned by its original settlers.(note 6)
PADDY's RUN.(note 7)
Paddy's Run is located about twenty-two miles northwest of Cincinnati, on a small stream by that name. The present name of the village is Shandon. It is situated in a level valley bordered by hills of some considerable height, and is noted for its productive farms and well-to-do people and general homelike prosperity.(note 8)
The valley of Paddy's Run varies in breadth from half a mile to one or two miles, and in length from four to six miles, terminating in the valley of the Great Miami. It is one of the most fertile localities in the Miami country. It is noted for its production of cereals and its stock raising.
Its settlement dates from 1796 when a Welshman by the name of Ezekiel Hughes arrived at Cincinnati from Wales, and together with Edward Bebb and William Gwilym squatted on the west bank of the Miami river near the mouth of Blue Rock creek until the government should survey the west bank of the river and open the country for settlement.(note 9)
In 1801 the land on the west side of the Miami was placed on the market, and Ezekiel Hughes purchased sections 15 and 16 in what is now Whitewater township, Hamilton County, while Edward Bebb purchased a half section in Morgan township, Butler County.(note 10)
The settlers for the most part occupied the lands in the community in the following order: 1802, William Gwilym, Andrew Scott, John Vaughn, David Francis; 1803, James Nicholas, the Parkinson family consisting of three brothers, Jacob Phyllis, John and Samuel Hardin, Bryson Blackburn, George Drybread, John Howard and Thomas Millholland; 1804, James Shields, John Halstead, Abel and Thomas Appleton, from 1804 to 1812, William Evans, William Jenkins, King and Alexander DeArmond, Rev. Michael Battenberg, John Merring, Robert Mahaffy, Rev. Hezekiah Shaw, William D. Jones, Peter Youmans, Ephraim Carmack; 1817, Rev. Rees Lloyd and family.
In 1818 emigration directly from Wales was revived, and the following families came from that place: John C. Jones, Evan Morris, John Breese, Richard Jones, John and William Davis, George Williams, Evan Humphreys, Griffith Breese, Humphrey Evans, Francis Jones, John Evans, David Jones, John Swancott, David Davies, Evan Evans and Tubal Jones.
Between 1820 and 1830 the following families settled: Deacon Hugh Williams, Joseph Griffiths, Henry Davis, Thomas Watkins, David Roberts, Rowland Jones and John Jones. (note 11)
The early settlers passed through experiences similar to those of other pioneers of their times. The opening of the public road from Cincinnati to the Miami furnished a market for their produce at Cincinnati, and the fact that that city was located along a great artery of traffic made the market a good one. The twenty-two miles to market had no terrors for the Welshman. As a result, the earliest settlers became landowners, their lands became more and more valuable with the increase of facilities and the descendants of the pioneers are for the most part well-do-do, if not wealthy.
It is to be observed that the first settlers came from the vicinity of Llanbrynmair, North Wales, which is said to have been one of the most moral and religious places in Wales. When they came to America they did not leave behind their Bibles or religious tenets, and with the ring of the ax they mingled the sound of thanksgiving and praise. The cabin preceded but a short interval the house of worship; indeed from the beginning it served as a habitation and a house of worship as well.
The most important item in the history of this community is the story of the Congregational church, which was organized September 3, 1803. Among the earliest settlers was one J. W. Brown, an itinerant preacher. He travelled from settlement to settlement in Hamilton County, and in 1802 preached the first sermon in Paddy's Run. The first meetings for the most part were held in the open. In July, 1803, a committee was appointed to draft a constitution and articles of faith. September 3, 1803, the committee reported at a meeting held at the home of John Vaughn. The first members were Benjamin McCarthy, Asa Kitchel, John Comstock, Andrew Scott, Margaret Bebb, Ezekiel Hughes, William and Ann Gwilym, David and Mary Francis.
In 1804, Rev. Brown was ordained. He filled the position of pastor until 1812. Since 1817 the pastors have been: 1817-1820, Rev. Rees Lloyd; 1820-1829, Rev. Thomas Thomas; 1828-1831, Rev. Thomas G. Robert, 1831-1834, Rev. Evan Roberts; 1836-1843, Rev. B. Chidlaw; 1843- , Rev. Ellis Howell.
These were followed by Rev. J. H. Jones, Rev. James M. Pryse, Rev. D. W Wilson, Rev. J. M. Thompson, Rev. George Candee and others. In ninety-five years the pastors numbered eighteen. Beginning with a membership of thirteen in 1803, at the end of the first quarter of a century, it numbered about ninety. By 1850 the membership was over four hundred.
From the organization of the church until 1825 the meetings were held at the cabin of the members, or in the wagon shop of David Jones or in the open air. In 1823 a church building was begun, but it was not ready for occupancy until 1825. In 1855 a new and more commodious church was erected and occupied.
As John W. Brown, the first minister, was English and not Welsh and several of the first members of the church were not Welsh, the services were carried on for the most part in the English language, yet, services and communion were had alternately in English and Welsh for a considerable period. In 1820 Thomas Thomas and Rees Lloyd were joint pastors, the former preaching in English, the latter in Welsh. Preaching in both languages was continued for many years. The last Welsh pastor was Rev. Pryse and the last Welsh sermon preached in 1886 by Rev. Rhys Lloyd, of Oakland, Cal. The Welsh people clung to their language and traditions for many years and among the old folk they are often tenderly referred to.
Miss Hannah Morris, a descendant of the first family of that name, writes; "There is only a very little of the Welsh or the Welsh influence here now. I think there is but one person that can read Welsh, about a dozen that can talk it, and about as many who can understand it."
A Sunday School was organized in 1819 and has always been an important factor in the religious life of the community.(note 12)
It is recorded that the first school in the township was conducted in a log schoolhouse erected in 1808. The teacher, Polly Willey, had twenty pupils and drew a salary of seventy-five cents a week and boarded around. She was succeeded by Mr. Jenkins in 1808, who taught not only from the textbooks, but also from a code of "morals and manners" of his own. In 1821 a boarding school was established for advanced scholars by Rev. Thomas Thomas. The following are some of the most prominent persons who received their early education at the Paddy's Run, schools: Charles Seldon, Rev. T. E. Thomas, William Dennison, Governor of Ohio in 1861; G. M. Shaw, of Indiana, and Hon. Daniel Shaw, of Louisiana; Murat Halstead, Dr. Albert Shaw, editor Review of Reviews; William Bebb, Governor of Ohio 1846-1848; Dr. Knowles Shaw, evangelist; Rev. Mark Williams, missionary.
Indeed, the most remarkable fact in connection with the history of this settlement is the great interest taken in the proper education and religious instruction and training of the young. This is true of all Welsh settlements, but it is truly remarkable in the case of Paddy's Run. Scores of men have gone out from this Welsh settlement to gain prominence in their chosen profession. It is estimated that the church alone has given to the world ten ministers, five foreign missionaries, five teachers in the American missionary work, two eminent journalists, one hundred and five teachers, a score of physicians and several attorneys at law.
The pioneers of this settlement were Theophilus Rees and Thomas Phillips, who have been mentioned elsewhere as members of the Welsh colony which settled Beulah, Cambria County, Pennsylvania, in 1795-6. Rees was probably among the earliest of his race to leave the parent settlement in Pennsylvania with a view to settling elsewhere. As early as 1800, he began to inquiry into the advantages of the country beyond the Ohio, and in August, 1801, commissioned his son, John Rees, "Chaplain" Jones, mentioned elsewhere, and Simon James, to explore a tract of land in what is now Granville Township, Licking County, Ohio.(note 13)
Upon their favourable report, on September 4, 1801, Theophilus Rees purchased approximately one thousand acres in the Southwest corner of the Northwest quarter of Granville township, Licking County, Ohio, and Thomas Philipps purchased eight hundred acres immediately north of the Rees purchase in the same quarter. In th3e same quarter at the same time, the following purchases were made: Elizabeth Conroy, 200 acres; Henry Jenkins, 100 acres; David Roberts, 400 acres; Walter Griffith, 100 acres.
About one year after the above purchases were made, Theophilus Rees and family, his two sons-in-law, David Lewis and David Thomas, with their families and Simon James started from Cambria County, Pennsylvania, to take possession of their lands. At Wheeling they were joined by James Johnson, an Indian scout; and his family.(note 14)
Before the party reached its destination, Lewis and Thomas had stopped at Zanesville and Newark o work. Cabins were erected for Rees and Johnson, the former about one mile northeast of Granville, the latter about a mile further over the hills to the north.
It was not until 1806 that Thomas Phillips, accompanied by his son, John and family came to Ohio. They settled on their purchase a short distance north of the Rees settlement. In 1809 Samuel Joseph Phillips, another son of Thomas Phillips, came to the Hills, accompanied by his family, consisting of his wife and five children.(note 15)
The following list shows the date of the arrival of the principal settlers in the Welsh Hills: 1802, Theophilus Rees, James Johnson, Simon James; 1803, David Lewis, David Thomas; 1804, Thomas Cramer, Peter Cramer; 1805, John Price, Benjamin Jones, Thomas Powell; (note 16) 1806, Thomas and John Phillips, James Evans; 1807, Jacob Riley; (note 17) 1809, Samuel J. Phillips, David Jones; 1810, David Thomas, Samuel White, Sr., Daniel Griffith; 1811, Thomas Owens; 1815, Nicoodemus Griffith; 1816, David Pittsford; 1821, Edward Price, Edward Glynn; 1822, Thomas Hughes, Evan Davis, John Davis, etc.
It has been said that the first thing a Frenchman does in a new country is to build a trading post; an Englishman builds a blockhouse, but a Welshman builds a church. It will be observed that a number of the Welsh families who settled in Welsh Hills were also the pioneers of Beulah and Ebensburg. Penna. The year following their settlement at Ebensburg they organized a church which became the parent church of the Welsh Hills Baptist Church. The Beulah Church was a Union Church for the accommodation of all worshippers regardless of their denomination. The prevailing spirit in the church, however, was their pastor and promoter of the colony, Morgan J. Rhys, who was a Baptist minister. Accordingly the tone of the church soon became Baptist and the church transplanted to Welsh Hills was Baptist. Nearly all the charter members of the Welsh Hills Baptist church were members of the Beulah Church, and from the letters issued by the latter to members of the former, we find that not less than thirty transplanted their religious as well as their material possessions from Beulah to Welsh Hills.
No sooner had the settlement reached any considerable number than the church was organized. This event took place September 4, 1808. The following were the constituent members; Theophilus Rees, David Thomas, Nathyn Allen, David Lobdell, Joshua Lobdell, Thomas Powell, Elizabeth Rees, Elizabeth Thomas and Mary Thomas. The church worshipped at private houses until 1809, when a log church was erected. It was succeeded by various structures until the present church was built in 1840.
The Welsh Hills Church has done a great deal toward keeping the people together in the faith of their fathers and has furnished a means by which the traditions of the race have to some extent been preserved. A very large per cent of the population of the settlement have been church members and church goers and the church has never failed of the active assistance of the best people of the community.
Regarding education as the handmaid of religion the pioneer Welshman soon took steps to establish a school as early if not earlier than the organization of the church. John H. Philipps had been a school teacher in Pennsylvania and immediately upon his arrival in 1806 began to instruct the youth of the neighborhood at his cabin. He was the first teacher in the log school house erected in 1806. In 1825 "The Old Stone School House" was erected. This building is still standing, and is located about a mile and a half northeast of Granville.
"The Old Stone School House" as dear to the hearts of the people of Welsh Hills as Liberty Hall is to the American people. The school conducted here was large for a country school, sometimes numbering as high as sixty in winter and forty in summer. The building was abandoned in 1858, when a modern school house was built in another part of the settlement.
Before leaving Wales nearly every adult who settled on Welsh Hills learned a trade and few, if any, were farmers before settling on the Hills. As a result the Welsh pioneer was awkward but ambitious farmer. His success is due to his adaptability to farming, but to his economy and thrift. He was a small farmer and few undertook to cultivate so much as 200 acres. He believed in reclaiming a small tract of ground and gradually extending his operations. Every grain was harvested and every garnered grain was saved. They were supporters of the temperance cause, and early in their denunciation of slavery.(note 18)
Welsh Hills school contributed twenty-nine soldiers for the Union Army. Six soldiers of the War of 1812 and five for the Mexican War went from the settlement.
The Welsh Hills settlement comprises about 5,000 acres of land for the most part in the northeast quarter of Granville Township, Licking County, Ohio, while a few hundred acres lie in McKean Township, in Newton Township, and still more in Newark Township. The land is very hilly, but not what could be called a rough country. The land is fertile for hilly land, and is well adapted to stock raising, particularly sheep. Grain raised on the Welsh Hills is not so productive to the acres, but is of superior quality.
The population has preserved its character as a distinctively Welsh settlement until very recent years, but in later years it has been gradually losing its distinguishing traits. The Welsh language was used generally throughout the community during the first generations, and in the church until about 1830, and after that but little. It is seldom heard to-day.
The fact that the Welsh Hills was but a few miles from Granville and Denison University gave the Welsh boys an opportunity to satisfy their pronounced ambitions to secure an education. The great majority of the youth from the Hills have attended Denison University and a large number are graduates of that institution.
This Welsh settlement is situated in Radnor Township, Delaware County, Ohio, and lies just east of the Scioto River, near the northwest corner of Delaware County, about five miles north of the city of Delaware. The pioneer of this settlement was a young Welshman by the name of David Pugh, who purchased land warrants for 4,000 acres of land, being the southwest quarter of Township 6, Range 20, of the United States Survey, from Dr. Samuel Jones, of Philadelphia, in 1802.(note 20)
In 1802 Pugh rode from Philadelphia on horseback to visit his purchase. Upon his return to Philadelphia he arranged with Henry Perry, of Anglesea, North Wales, to make a settlement upon the tract. In the fall of 1803 Perry and his two sons, aged fifteen and thirteen built a cabin on the land and occupied it during the following winter. In the early summer of 1804 Perry left the boys in possession of the cabin and returned to Baltimore after his wife and other children.
In 1804 David Pugh again visited the tract and divided his land into lots of one hundred acres each and sold them to the following: Richard Tibbett, John Watkins, John Jones (from Wales), and Hugh Kyle and David Marks, from Pennsylvania. In 1805 the following families arrived from Wales: Evan Jenkins, David Davids, Richard Hoskins and David Davies. John Muller also came from Pennsylvania. In 1807 came David Penry and John Phillips brothers-in-law of David Pugh. Elenor Lodwig and children, Thomas, John and Letitia. In 1808 came Benjamin Kepler, Elijah Adams, Thomas Warren and John Foos.
During the war of 1812 Radnor was a frontier settlement, and immigration was suspended. After the close of the war it was renewed again briskly and the following families arrived: Joseph Dunlap, Samuel Cooper, Robert and John McKinney, Obed Taylor, James and Mathew Fleming from Pennsylvania and Maryland; Thomas Jones, Ellis Jones, David E. Jones, Edward Evans, John Owens, Roger Watkins, Watkin
Watkins, William Watkins, John Humphreys, Humphrey Humphreys, Benjamin Herbert, Morgan D. Morgans, J. R. Jones, J. Jones, John Cadwallader, David Cadwallader, David Lloyd, John Davies, Mary Chidlaw, Robert and Stephen Thomas, from Wales. By the year 1821, nearly all the land in Radnor Township was taken up.
Elijah Adams was the first Justice of the Peace in Radnor and held the office for many years. Thomas Warren opened the first tavern in 1811 in a log building 20 x 32 feet and two stories high. The first child born in the settlement was David Penry, Jr., and the second Mary Jones (Warren) in the spring of 1807.
As in all Welsh settlements, the history of the settlements is the story of their religious and educational growth. The history of the family is one with that of the school and church. So it is Radnor. Nothing in the story of this settlement attains the prominence of the story of the school-house and the church. From the earliest schools were conducted and the youth instructed in the means available. In 1821 there were three log school-houses within the township, on the farms of John Phillips, Ralph Dildine and Benjamin Kepler. In later years the number grew to fourteen, while the number of children enrolled became approximately three hundred.
The first church organized in the township was of Baptist denomination. It was constituted May 4, 1816, with the following members: John Philips, Hannah Philips, William David, Thomas Walling, David Penry, Mary Penry, James Gallant, Elenor Lodwig, Daniel Bell, Reuben Stephens and Elizabeth Stevens. For two years they had no pastor. The earlier pastors were: 1818-1824, Elder Drake; 1827-1829, Jese Jones; 1830-1836, Thomas Stephen; 1836-1842 Elias George. The first church edifice was of logs and stood near the graveyard. In 1833 a stone church was erected on the same site. In 1867 a brick church was erected and in 1903 the present beautiful brick church was built. This church has always been strong, and during its career has numbered close to 200, besides sending out several ministers and missionaries to other lands. At the present time it has a membership of about 150 and supports a vigorous Sunday School.
Probably as early as 1808 the Methodist Church was represented by an itinerant minister, who preached at the cabins of Henry Perry and Elijah Adams. A society of the church was effected in 1812 at the cabin of Henry Perry. It became connected with the Delaware circuit of the Ohio Conference. In 1838 a frame church was erected and the church organization perfected. In 1858 a brick structure was erected. The present membership is about seventy-five.
In 1820 the Welsh Congregational church was organized at the cabin of John Jones (Penlan), with the following charter members: William Penry, Mary Penry, John Jones, Mary Jones, Margaret Morgan, D. Morgans, John A. Jones and wife. The first pastor was Rev. James Davies. He was succeeded by James Perregrin, 1825; Thomas Stevens, 1827; Rees Powell, 12838; Evan Evans, 1853; Rees Powell, 1858; James Davies, 1863; Thomas Jenkins, 1870; D. A. Evans, John B. Davies, J. V. Stephens, and Benjamin Harris, the present pastor. The church was remodelled and refurnished in 1`904. The present membership is about 200 and includes the majority of the descendants of the old pioneer families.
The first Presbyterian Church organized in Radnor Township was established in 1819 on the farm of James Dunlap, some distance from the village of Radnor, near the Scioto River. However, the Presbyterian Church was organized in the village of Radnor in 1848 by the withdrawal of a number of persons from the Congregational Church. The church has not been very strong and at the present time numbers about seventy-five members. Rev. Henry Shedd was the first pastor and he was succeeded by M. Jones, John Thompson, H. McVey, D. Wilson, J. Crouse and others.
The Welsh Presbyterian Church was organized by recruits from those of the Calvinistic and Presbyterian faith, and in 1850 a house of worship was erected. The pastor were Welsh-speaking minister and the language was long employed in the services, especially in the Sunday School. In 1877 a brick church was erected.
A review of the commercial history of Radnor settlement reveals nothing but the most substantial thrift, industry and prosperity. Radnor township is a beautiful farming district, unsurpassed for fertility, and is largely devoted to the cultivation of grain. There is evidence of thrift and prosperity on every hand. Radnor village is but a small collection of homes about the school and churches. It is located amid a little cluster of elevated knolls, hardly ing to the dignity of hills, and is surrounded by broad fields and beautiful farms. No more cozy and home like place exists. The farmers in the community have grown wealthy upon the products of their fertile fields and almost all the inhabitants of the village either own farms in the surrounding country or have sold their farms and are living in comfort, in the village from the proceeds of their sale.
The township has no poor. All seem to be happy and prosperous. The Welsh language has about disappeared, although the Congregational Sunday School has a class for the old people which is conducted in the Welsh language.
Before leaving Radnor, mention should be made of the remarkably large number of soldiers who enlisted from this place in the Civil War. A list carefully compiled from the official roster shows that they numbered no less than one hundred and sixty-one. When it is observed that with the present population, which is not less, and, no doubt, more than the township had in 1861, is not over 1,500 and the total number of electors is only between three hundred and four hundred, the fact appear still the more remarkable.
SETTLEMENT OF GALLIA AND JACKSON COUNTIES*
About the first of April, 1818, six families left their home in Cilcennin, Cardiganshire, South Wales, bound for Paddy's Run, Butler County, Ohio. The heads of these families were John Jones (Tirbach), John Evans (Penlanlas), Evan Evans (Tymawr), Lewis Davis (Rhiwlas), William Williams (Pantfallen), and Thomas Evans. After a perilous voyage of seven weeks across the great Atlantic, they arrived in Baltmore, Md., on the first day of July, 1818. Immediately after their arrival they arranged for two covered wagons drawn by four horses to convey them across the mountains as far as Pittsburg. When they reached Pittsburg they purchased a flat or push boat built for moving families and embarked for Cincinnati. They undertook to manage the boats themselves, consequently their journey was blest with more than the usual dangers of such a voyage. They finally went ashore at Gallipolis to get provisions and to enjoy the hospitality of the French settlers at that place, who, perhaps, on account of rare affinity and sympathy, treated these British Celts very kindly. When they awoke in the morning they found that their boats had broken loose as a result of a storm that had arisen during the night. At this juncture the women rebelled and flatly refused to move on any further, and being attached to the Gallians, they were persuaded to abandon all hope of reaching Paddy's Run, and effect a settlement in a more convenient point. Without delay these undaunted Welshmen went out to where Rodney now stands, to get work on the State road then being built from Chillicothe to Gallipolis. While thus employed they were told of a fertile and healthy region a few miles further west, and were thus led to settle near the village of Centreville, now a part of Jackson County. The topography of the country resembled that of their native land, so each purchased land at $1.25 per acre. Immediately they began to hew out homes for their families in the midst of wild forests. Being unaccustomed and unskilled in the use of the ax, they found the work extremely irksome. They first built rude hoses of round logs to dwell in, then with brave hearts they whacked away to clear a "patch" for the spring crop. It is impossible for their descendants to-day to even imagine the hardships and privations these sturdy pioneers endured. In 1829 David Thomas arrived from Wales and in 1831 Lewis Hughes and Edward Jones came to the settlement. Thus about 15 years passed before there was any material additions to this colony, save a chance visitor from some other Welsh settlement. About 1833 Rev. Edward Jones arrived and preached to these Welsh pioneers in their native tongue, which was much relished. He soon returned to Wales and wrote and published a pamphlet in which he described in glowing language the land and resources of Gallia and Jackson counties. As a consequence about the year 1835, and then on for ten years immigrants, principally from Cardiganshire, South Wales, came pouring into the neighborhood. They began to locate at different points in all directions of the compass, over an area perhaps twenty miles in diameter, until the whole of Jefferson and Madison townships were taken up and extending to Raccoon; Perry and Greenfield, townships in Gallia county, afterwards into Bloomfield, Lick and Coal Townships, Jackson County. About this time, decade between 1840 and 1850, times were very hard. Because of the lack of knowledge of the use of implements of husbandry, and because the soil was not very fertile, their crops were necessarily poor, and the market even poorer than the crops. Wages were extremely low - 16 cents per day - and farm produce rarely worth hauling to market. Oats were worth about 8 cents per bushel, and corn 25 cents. About 1843 the father of the writer hauled shelled corn from near Centerville to Buckhorn furnace, a distance of 15 miles, and received for the same 25 cents per bushel in trade. How they managed to support their families is inexplicable to us now. Hogs brought at one time only one and a half cents per pound, after being driven about 20 miles to Gallipolis. But by undaunted persistency and frugality - every member of the family, from a 6 year old child to the octogenerian - at work, they managed to drive the wolf away, and despite all obstacles, soon owned farms and stocks, and laid money away for the rainy day. And as the county is rich in limestone and iron ore, they began to invest their money in blast furnaces for the manufacture of pig iron, Jefferson and Cambrian furnaces being exclusively owned by Welshmen. The owners of Jefferson never allowed the furnace to be operated on the Sabbath day, and it was and is the most prosperous furnace in Southern Ohio. Its principal stockholders became the wealthiest citizens of Jackson County. The Welsh community in general was thrifty and well-to-do. Rarely do we find one of these immigrants and their immediate descendants in prison or the poor house. These early pioneers also appreciated the value of education, strived to
obtain it, and urged their children to seek it. Evan Evans, one of the first settlers, had four sons, all of whom taught school in the winter season for quite a number of years. At one time - about forty years ago - twenty-one of the young men of Horeb Church were school teachers. At an early date the school houses were few and far between, and children had to wend their way often two or three miles, through forests, over rugged steeps and dashing streams, to these halls of learning. The school houses were of a rude, primitive style, built of round logs about 16 x 18 feet, with stick and mud chimney built outside, and a fireplace for burning logs six or seven feet long. The door had wooden latch and hinges, and sometimes it was made of clapboards. At the end was a row of window glass, or, oftener, oiled paper, to admit the light. It contained a puncheon floor, made of saplings hewed upon the upper side. The benches were made of slab or split logs, and, generally, too high for the feet of the little urchins to reach the floor, and nothing to lean the back against. The writer has a distinct recollection of these barbarous seats. Here in these small, dusty, prison-like rooms the school master (they were not called teachers then) stood, and with rod in hand, savage looks, and gruff voice, crammed the three R's into our hollow craniums.
Historians are generally agreed that one of the peculiar national characteristics of the Welsh as people is religiosity. Even the ancient Druids possessed strong religious instincts, and were fond of poetry and music. These were the marked characteristics of the early Welsh of Gallia and Jackson Counties. The major portion of them came from near Aberystwyth, and had witnessed wonderful religious awakenings in their native land. They were mostly members of the Presbyterian, or, as it was called, Calvinistic Methodist Church. Upon their arrival in this country, they immediately erected a house of worship. If no minister could be procured they conducted prayer meetings and Sabbath Schools in the chapel. In nearly every family there was an altar, and the parents as a rule spared no time nor pains in training their children in the way they should go, and in instilling into their minds the doctrinal tenets of the Presbyterian creed. They did this chiefly by the use of two catechism, viz., the "Mother Gift" (for juveniles) and the Instructor (Hyfforddwr). The last, written by the eminent Christian scholar and founder of the British Bible Society - The Rev. Thomas Charles, D.D., Bala, Wales. The first chapel that was built in the settlement was Moriah in the year 1836. It is situated about midway between Oak Hill and Centerville, and about the center of the Welsh settlement. The church is in a flourishing condition to-day, and the Welsh language almost exclusively used. As the emigrants were pouring in from Wales, and spreading in all directions, new church buildings went up on all sides. The dates of the organization of these churches are as follows: Horeb 1838, Centerville 1840, Soar 1841, Bethel 1841, Sardis 1843, Bethania 1846, Oak Hill 1850, Peniel 1874, Jackson 1880. Dates of organization and dissolution of extinct churches: Tabor 1848-1866, Bethesda 1856-1880, Salem 1862-1879, Coalton 1881-1906.
Several Congregational churches also were organized at an early date of which we have no record. We think Oak Hill was the first, about 1840, Tyn Rhos 1841, then Nebo, Carmel, Siloam, Centerville, and recently Mount Pleasant. The Baptists erected four chapels - Oak Hill, Centerville, Bethlehem and Ebenezer.
In the year 1836 Rev. Robert Williams arrived in the settlement and located near Moriah. He was a man of rare talent and strong personality. For fifty years he labored with assiduity and exercised the function of a prophet, priest and king to the cluster of the Calvinistic churches of the settlement. He was a counsellor and guide, and his word was almost regarded as law. He doubtless exerted more influence than anyone else toward the intellectual, moral and spiritual elevation of his countrymen in the community in which he resided. The two other preachers that deserve special notice, on account of their abilities and long, faithful services, were Revs. J. W. Evans, Oak Hill, and E. S. Jones, Centerville. Each served the churches of the settlement for about half of a century. Other able and faithful ministers served the churches for shorter periods of time than those above mentioned.
As to Congregational preachers, priority belongs to Rev. John A. Davis, on account of ability, influence and long service. Rev. Evan Davis, Tyn Rhos, sands next on the roll.
We think that we can confidently affirm without fear of contradiction that no other settlement of Welsh or any other nationality has contributed so largely to the ministry, according to population, as the Welsh settlement of Gallia and Jackson. Here is the list: Daniel Evans, Richard Davis, J. W. Evans, J. T. Williams, E. S. Jones, David Harris, D.D., John Rogers, R. H. Evans, J. P. Morgan, John M. Jones, W. Reese, D. J. Jenkins, David Thomas, M.A., John Lloyd, D. Jewitt Davis, M.A., W. R. Evans, Isaac Edwards, B. F. Thomas, Rowland Jones, D. Luther Edwards, S. Handel Jones, R. H. Evans, Jr., Alban Alban, Thos. D. Hughes, M.A., D.D., W. T. Lewis, D.D., John Davis, M.A. D. Ellis Evans, John L. Jones, Thomas Thomas, Evan Lloyd, Daniel Lloyd, Daniel Jones, Richard Davis, Thomas Davis, M.A., Edward I. Jones, Dan I. Jones, John L. Davis, M.A., Clumbus, O., Evan Rees, M.A., W. O. Jones, M.A., W. Isaac, Dr. Griffiths and others perhaps. Allow us here to give the names of a few of the physicians reared in the settlement: Dr. Jenkins, Dr. Jenkins of Lima, Dr. Griffiths, Dr. E. J. Jones, Dr. Gomer Jones, Dr. Moses Jones, Dr. Dan Jones (Dec.), Dr. Lewis, Cincinnati; Dr. Morgan, Coalton; Dr. Morgan, Jackson; Dr. Williams, Jackson; Dr. Davis, Venedocia; Dr. Alban, Columbus; Dr. Austin Edwards, Dr. Evans (Dec.), Dr. E. Hughes (Dec.), Dr. J. W. Jones (Dec.)
The most prominent among the educators are Prof. S. Morgan, W. T. Morgan, David Evans, instructor in Athens University, and Prof J. If. Phillips, superintendent of schools, Birmingham, Ala. He, no doubt, is one of the leading educators of the South. In the list of lawyers we may name David Alban (Dec.), John L. Jones (Dec.), R. H. Jones, Judge D. Davis, Cincinnati; Lot Davis, Ironton; Daniel Phillips (Dec.), Evan Davis, Gallipolis; John A. Thomas, Judge Benner Jones, John A. Jones, Circuit Judge; Judge Everett Evans, Virginia and Daniel Williams, editor of the Standing Journal and our consul to Cardiff, Wales.
The Welsh also have figured quite prominent in the political arena. The following is the list of Representatives: Capt. Evans, Dr. Williams, T. Lloyd Hughes, Robert Jones, Samuel Llewellyn, Lot Davis and Evans. Hon. Stephen Morgan was elected to Congress for three consecutive terms. Gallia County sent J. H. Evans to the State Senate. In both counties the Welsh have had their full share of county offices. The Welsh also by their vim, enterprising spirit and executive abilities, have been potent factors in the material development of Jackson County. In managing iron furnaces, coal mines and brick plants they have achieved great success. Quite a number that are now dead left quite a fortune, viz., Thomas Jones, (agent), J. C. Jones and John Davis, and among the wealthiest men of the county to-day are David Davis and J. J. Thomas of Oak Hill, and Moses Morgan, Ed. Jones, Eben Jones and Ezekiel Jones of Jackson, and T. J. Morgan of Wellston. Thus we see that the few hundred Welshmen who came to the poor, hilly counties of Gallia and Jackson, needy and penniless, and strangers to the language, customs and institutions of the country, have accomplished great work, and have contributed marvellously to the material, intellectual moral and civic development of the above named counties. Thousands of the descendants of these brave pioneers have scattered abroad into every state in the Union, among them many teachers, doctors and lawyers and a score of preachers, and their influence is beyond human calculation.
Note (1) "I endeavored to prove, before I left Britain, that all who dissented from the established religion in that country, were persecuted by the Higher Powers, and that it was their duty, unless they could obtain equal liberty with the rest of their fellow citizens at home, to immigrate to that country where they might enjoy their natural birthright without fear of molestation. I am still of the same opinion; notwithstanding the difficulties you have to encounter in the way for the sake of liberty you should surmount them all and embark for America, where the persecuted Penn founded a city of refuge for the oppressed of all nations; here religion has to demonstrate its efficacy from the 'force of argument instead of the argument of force.' " - Letter of Morgan J. Rhys, 1794.
The church of Rev. Thomas Griffiths in Pembrokeshire, Wales, emigrated with him in a body in 1701, and formed the "Welsh Tract Church'" in Delaware.
In 1776 Rev. Richard Price, of London, a native of Glamorganshire, Wales, published a pamphlet entitled "Observations on Civil Liberty and the Justice and Policy of the War with America," which caused considerable comment among the friends of the Colonists and made him a recognized leader among them in England.
Note (2) Morgan J. Rhys, the founder of the Welsh colony at Beulah, Penn., mentioned hereafter, was compelled to escape at great hazard. In his "Reasons for Coming to America" he said: "We are not without seeing their persecuting spirit already. Many of our fellow countrymen say that hanging or burning is too good for us; that we should be tortured and torn in pieces by wild animals. But what for? For nothing in the world but for desiring their welfare, and for trying to open their eyes to see their civil and religious right, but thus far they love darkness rather than light."
Rev. Thomas Evans, a Unitarian minister, was imprisoned in 1776, at Carmarthen, Wales, for two year for advocating civil and religious liberty.
Note (3) Chaplain Jones was born May 12, 1736, near Newark, Delaware. He was the son of Morgan and Eleanor Evans Jones, who came from Cardiganshire, South Wales. He was baptised May 6, 1758, into the Welsh Tract Church. He was educated at Hopewell Academy and was ordained December 12, 1766, (at Freehold, New Jersey. In 1775 he became pastor of Great Valley, Pennsylvania, Baptist Church, and April 27 1776, enlisted in the Fourth Pennsylvania Battalion, in which he served until January 1, 1783, when he was transferred to the Third Pennsylvania under General Wayne. In 1786 he was pastor at Southampton, and in 1792 he returned to Great Valley. In 1794-96 he was chaplain at General Payne's troops in the Indian wars, which terminated in the treaty at Greenville in 1795. His name is signed to the treaty in 1812-1814 he was again chaplain in the army and after the close of the war returned to his charge, where he died February 5, 1820. His diary kept by him in his journeys through Ohio in 1772 and 1773 is published in "Cincinnati Miscellany, Vols. 1 and 2.
Note (4)"In a valley on the headwaters of the south fork of Black Lick Creek, in the midst of the Allegheny Mountains, about three mile west of Ebensburg, Cambria County, Pennsylvania, a few heaps of stones, covered with moss, trees and ferns and here and there an excavation nearly filled with debris and vegetation, mark he site of the extinct town of Beulah." - J. F. Barnes History of the City of Beulah.
Note (5)Egle's History of Pennsylvania, p. 470. Day's Pennsylvania Historical Collections, p. 181. "They were, in religioun, Dissenters, or Welsh Independents, and were men of strong religious conviction." Egle's His. of Pennsylvania, p. 471.
Note (6)Morgan J. Rhys, the founder of Beulah, was born December 8, 1760, in Glamorganshire, South Wales, and died in Somerset, Pennsylvania, December 7, 1804. He was well born and well educated. His parents were John and Elisabeth Rhys (English, Rees). He united with the Baptist Church at Hengoed while very young. He entered Bristol College in August, 1786, but remained there but one year. In 1787 he went to France but remained only a short time. About 1793 he published several pamphlets and also a "Guide and Encouragement to Establish Sunday Schools, etc." In 1794 he fell under the ban of he English Government and fled to America. After landing at New York he journeyed through the Southern States and Northwest Territory seeking a suitable place for a Welsh colony. In 1796 he married the daughter of Colonel Benjamin Loxley. In 1798 he purchased the land where Beulah was located. He then took charge of his colony, became pastor of the church, Associate Judge, Recorder of Deeds and Register of Wills, etc. He was buried in the cemetery of the First Baptist Church of Philadelphia.
Rev. John T. Griffiths of Edwardsdale, Penn., a prominent divine and recognised as the most useful writer of Welsh history living in America today, has compiled and published the facts to obtained concerning Morgan J. Rhys, including his letters, diary and several sermons and speeches. From this publication all the foregoing facts concerning Morgan J. Rhys and Beulah Pa., have been obtained.
Note (7)This article is based on the writings of B. W. Chidlaw, Hon. Ed. H. Jones, of Hamilton, and Miss Hannah Morris, of Shandon, which have furnished valuable additions.
Note (8)The level valley, bordered by hills that gradually rise to quite a pretentious height, little streams like silver threads winding their way toward large rivers, fine gravel roads, well tilled and highly productive farms, large inviting looking homes, commodious barns, lawns and pastures of Kentucky blue grass and in summer and autumn fields of abundant harvests and orchards of all kinds of fruits, - all these go to make up a landscape worthy a place on the canvass of the painter." - Rev. C. A. Gleason, Hist. Paddy's Run Cong. Church.
Note (9)Ezekiel Hughes was the first Welsh settler in Ohio. He was born in Llanbrynmair, Montgomeryshire, North Wales, August 22, 1767. He sailed for Philadelphia in April, 1795. He remained there until the Spring of 1796, when he visited Washington, D.C. In the early summer of 1796, accompanied by Edward Bebb, he started on foot for the Northwest Territory. They remained a few weeks at Beulah and then took passage on a flatboat down the Ohio, bound for Cincinnati. In 1803 Hughes visited Wales, married Margaret Bebb, and returned to the banks of the Miami in 1804. In 1805 his wife died. In 1808 he married Mary Ewing a native of Pennsylvania. In 1806 he became Justice of the Peace. In 1812 he was instrumental in incorporating "The Berea Union Society." He was one of the charter members of the Paddy's Run Congregational Church, and faithful attendant though residing 13 miles away. In 1828 a Presbyterian Church was organized at his house and he united with it. He died September 2, 1849.
Note (10)Edward Bebb, who was the first actual settler at Paddy's Run, after locating his land, walked back to Ebensburg, Pennsylvania, took unto himself a wife, Margaret Owens, and returned to take possession of his new home. Their son, William Bebb, afterwards Governor of Ohio, was born December 8, 1802, and was the first white child born in Morgan Township, Butler County. William Bebb died June 18, 1840, and Mrs Bebb December 3, 1851.
Note (11)William and Morgan Gwilym, who came from Cwmaman, South Wales, and reached this colony in 1802, resided for some time at Red Stone, Pennsylvania, where they assisted in the manufacture of the first iron made west of the Alleghanies. Rachel, the daughter of William Gwilym and Ann Rowlands, born May 28, 1800, was the first white child born in Colerain Township, Hamilton county, Ohio. Morgan Gwilym brought the first two-horse wagon and iron castings into the neighborhood. William Gwilym died in 1838, aged 74 years. Morgan Gwilym died in 1845, aged 76 years.
James Shields, who arrived in 1804, was a native of Ireland, educated at Glasgow University. He was a member of the Ohio Legislature for nineteen years. In 1828 he was elected to Congress. He died in 1831.
Note (12)"The members knew but little of Sunday school work and in order to obtain some knowledge of method, Thomas Lloyd and William Bebb were appointed to visit Hamilton, the county seat, then a town of seven hundred people, and learn how other schools were conducted. * * Reaching Hamilton they learned to their surprise that there was not a school in any of the three or four churches." - Gleason's Hist. of Paddy's Run Cong. Church.
Note (13)The facts leading up to the immigration of Rees and Phillipps to America are as follows: In 1787, a pamphlet containing a bold criticism of the attitude of the British Government toward religious reform was published in Wales. Its authorship was attributed to John Phillipps, son of Thomas Phillipps, who was then a student in a college near the border line between England and Wales. To avoid arrest Philipps escaped to America and repaired to Philadelphia. From there he appealed to his father to come to America. His father prevailed upon his friend and neighbor, Theophilus Rees to come also. A colony of the neighbors was made up and they arrived in New York May 14, 1795.
Note (14)This incident is peculiar. It introduced into a Welsh settlement a strain of Virginia blood which refused to mix with the Welsh for generations. The second wife of James Johnson was Martha Bazil Lee, or Bazileel. Her first husband was Isaac Reily, an Irish minister of considerable note at Philadelphia during the Revolutionary War.
Note (15)They traveled in the manner characteristic of the times. They had two horses and no wagon. One horse was used as a pack horse, while the wife rode the other with a child in each saddlebag and a babe in her arms. The father walked and led the way. The two boys aged seven and nine drove the cows. In this manner they made the journey of over three hundred miles.
Note (16)Born in Radnorshire, South Wales, January 12, 1870, settled at Beulah, Pennsylvania, 1801, ordained to the ministry and supplied the church at Beulah and for a time at Welsh Hills. Had a remarkable memory, and is said to have committed to memory great portions of the Scriptures. Was very eccentric and because of a grievance on the building of the Welsh Hills church, declared he would never enter it again. He kept his word, but seated on a stump outside he listened to the sermons and joined in the services. He died July 6, 1848, and is buried in Granville.
Note (17)Riley was the husband of Sallie Tilton, who was born at 1782 at old Fort Tilton, afterwards Tiltonville, in what is now Warren Township, Jefferson Co., Ohio. Her father, Joseph Tilton, was a member of the settlement at Fort Tilton in 1774. Joseph Tilton's wife was Susannah Jones, said to have been a niece of Captain Paul Jones of Revolutionary fame. She is buried at Indian Mound Cemetery at Tiltonville, and her monument reads, "Departed this life October 15th, 1828, aged 88 years, 9 months and 20 days." Her granddaughter, Susannah Reily, daughter of Jacob Reily, married Samuel G. Phillips, the son of Samuel J. Phillips.
Note (18)A letter from the church to the Association in 1836 contains the following: "Resolved that this Association utterly abhors the vile system of slavery as practiced in the Southern States and recommends to all Christians to use every lawful and consistent means for the immediate and total abolition thereof."
Note (19)This article is based very largely upon "The History of Radnor," by B. W. Chidlaw.
Benjamin W. Chidlaw was born at the village of Bala, in North Wales, July 14, 1811, and was the son of Benjamin and Mary (Williams) Chidlaw. In 1821 his parents immigrated to America and arrived at Delaware, Ohio, the same year, where his father died a few weeks after arrival. His mother purchased a small farm a few miles north of Radnor, where B. W. spent his boyhood days. In 1827 he atte4nded an academy kept by Bishop Czahse at Worthington. In 1828 he attended Kenyon College at Gambier. In 1829 he studied Latin and Greek under Rev. Jacob Little at Granville, preparatory to entering Ohio University at Athens. In November of that year he enrolled at that school and spent two years there, completing his junior year. In 1832 he entered Miami University at Oxford, where he graduated in 1833. He preached for some time and then took charge of the missionary work of the American Sunday School Union in Ohio and Indiana, at which work he was engaged for over forty years. He was chaplain during the Civl War. After the war he continued his labor with the American Sunday School Union in Ohio traveled throughout the county. Her made several visits to Wales. He wrote "The History of the Welsh Settlement at Paddy's Run," "The History of the Welsh Settlement at Radnor," "The Story of My Life," and contributed largely to current periodicals. He has made many valuable contributions to Welsh History in Ohio. He died on the 14th day of July, 1892, in Wales, at Dolgelly, a few miles from Bala, his birthplace."
Note (20)David Pugh was from Radnorshire, South Wales, and landed at Baltimore in 1801. He is the ancestor of the numerous Pugh family of Columbus and vicinity.
* By Rev. W. R. Evans, Gallia, O.